Since going to therapy, I have learned the practice of setting boundaries with others. While not everyone will respect your boundaries, it is still important to make your boundaries known. Many people believe boundaries cannot be biblical, but they actually can be.
In fact, most boundaries can be seen as biblical because they draw from biblical concepts and practices. Here are five biblical boundaries to set with others.
1. Don’t Lie to Me
The Bible tells us clearly not to lie to each other (Colossians 3:9-10). Lying breaks trust, and where trust has been broken, a relationship cannot grow. Whenever you are building a friendship or a romantic relationship, it is perfectly okay and biblical to set this boundary in place.
While many of us think honesty should be given, it is not always a given. There are people who will lie or tell us only what we want to hear rather than telling us the truth.
Honesty is always the best policy, and this is true for our relationships too. By setting this boundary with those around you, they will be made aware of how important honesty is to you.
For me personally, honesty is something that is really important and something that I need in every relationship in my life.
Due to being lied to throughout my childhood and teenage years as well as in my adult years, I need truth in relationships. You too might find this true because telling the truth is something that we all need and something that we all value in a person.
2. Don’t Treat Me Poorly
A second biblical boundary to set with others is to tell them not to treat you poorly. Sadly, many people will make you feel bad about yourself. I have had many “friends” who made me feel bad about myself, to the point that I would be crying for days.
As someone who has been treated poorly by others, it is important for all people to set this boundary in their own lives. You are valued, loved, and cared about just as you are (Psalm 139:13-16).
You deserve to be surrounded by people who support you, encourage you, and make you feel good about yourself.
If you set this boundary early in your relationship with someone else, they will know that treating you badly is not an option and that you won’t stay their friend if they treat you in a negative way.
Unfortunately, I have often stayed friends with people even if they have treated me badly, and it is something I won’t do ever again. It only made me feel worse about myself and damaged my mental health even more.
3. Don’t Say Curse Words
A third biblical boundary you can set in place is to not say curse words. Saying curse words is a bad habit to pick up, and it is something we shouldn’t do.
Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
This passage spoken of by Paul is completely true, as we should never let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths. Instead, we need to build up others in our words.
Curse words would fall under the category of unwholesome words. Never have curse words built anyone up.
Rather, they are meant to hurt others or to express frustration. Also, curse words can easily rub off on us, and we will find ourselves echoing the words we hear from other people in our lives.
If someone close to us says curse words, we, too, will be more prone to use them in our everyday talk. Setting up the biblical boundary to not say curse words will help us in our relationship with that person, but it will also help us in a way that the curse words won’t rub off on us.
4. Respect My Space
A fourth biblical boundary to set in place is to respect your space. In the modern day and age, it can be hard to get some space. As the youngest of three girls, I understand how hard it can be to have your own space.
Since I grew up with relatively no space for myself, I have now become more aware of setting down the boundary that I need my space, and others need to respect my space.
Maybe this sounds familiar to you, and you also are in need of some space. It is biblical to set this boundary down because all of us need our space and others should be respectful of our space.
If someone refuses to respect your space, you have the right to tell them again. If they still are not respectful of your space, you have the right to get someone else involved, such as an authority figure, or to just leave the situation.
As mentioned, even though we set boundaries doesn’t mean they will always be respected. This is a sad reality; however, it helps us to know that the people who don’t respect our boundaries are the ones who will probably not stick around to be our friends.
5. Don’t Force Me to Do Something I Don’t Want To
A fifth biblical boundary to set up is to ask others to not force you to do something you don’t want to do. As someone who struggles with negative body image and anorexia, I have asked many of my friends not to comment on my body, the weight I gain or lose, or the food that I eat.
In this process, I have also set the boundary that I don’t want them to force me to do something I don’t want to do, such as to eat something that is too scary for me at the moment or to tell me I need to lose or gain weight.
Even if you don’t have body image issues or an eating disorder, you can still use the overall boundary of telling people not to force you to do something you don’t want to do. This can be extremely helpful in friendships and in relationships.
Someone who truly cares about you and loves you won’t force you to do anything you don’t want to do. As mentioned, my example is only one of thousands that could be utilized under this boundary. You know your own limits, and I’m sure you can also utilize this boundary in your everyday life.
Look over this list and see if there are any boundaries you want to keep with you. Write them down on a notepad or copy and paste them on a document.
You can also be creative in your boundaries and craft your own. As an individual human with your own individual needs, you, too, will have your own personal boundaries to set with others.
Make sure your boundaries are biblical and are supported by the Word. Boundaries that wouldn’t be supported would be anything legalistic or something that directly goes against the Bible.
As a Christian, you are capable of setting your own boundaries, and you are worthy of having them respected. If someone doesn’t respect your boundary, you have the right to pull away from your relationship with them and seek out people who will respect your boundaries.
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Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.